City committee OKs convent development

19 11 2010


“City planners approved re-zoning the land around a Westboro convent for development Thursday, but said Ottawa will try to buy back a piece of land from the developer to preserve park space.

Ashcroft Homes wants to renovate the 135-year-old Sisters of the Visitation convent on Richmond Road, near Island Park Drive, and build several new buildings including two condominium towers and a residence for seniors — an estimated 600 residences in total — along with several commercial shops….”

Read the full article online here.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Were you at the PEC meeting? Are you feeling optimistic about this new development? How will it affect your life in Westboro?

Edited to add:
Here’s the latest update in the Ottawa Citizen, “Proposal to buy piece of Ashcroft convent land sails through council




4 responses

19 11 2010

Feeling great appreciation for the delegations, individuals, community organizations and everyone else who has put so much effort into keeping this part of Kitchissippi from automatically being overdeveloped by Ashcroft. So overdeveloped for profit, and not for practical intensification reasons. Because of course the outlandish spin is that anyone against gross height in these buildings is presumed to be selfish and backwards, by some who haven’t balanced their prejudices or their lack of knowledge about city development with common sense. I think we will be very disappointed by the height of the buildings that will be approved in the end, since they will overshadow existing schoolyards, and houses. That part of Richmond Road is not a gateway and will be an unpleasant tunnel, and the terrific possibilities of showcasing this wonderful site and historic building will be lost. Traffic will be so difficult to manage that we will continue to be disheartened trying to get home from wherever we are. However, I am hopeful about Byron park and path being kept intact and know that this at least will be safer. So much more needs to be done to revamp density and height allowances to that which is intended by the community. That is the larger battle. At the PEC meetings for two days I heard Ashcroft shamelessly spin their interpretation of the development guidelines to suit themselves…they don’t give a fig about anyone else, and the shamelessness was astounding. Fair warning to other parts of Kitchissippi and the city. We all want improvement in matching intensification to safety and better quality of living for all. The key word is better, better, not over-the-top height allowances for buildings. When Ashcroft is at the OMB hearings I would not be able to listen again to their spin as it was dishonest. Their slides of their plans for the site were laughably wrong…showing no heights, showing wide-angle viewpoints that aren’t based on any reality at all. One would have to be a simpleton to believe the drawings, which of course not one person does. That took a huge amount of nerve on their part. Their aggressive language was a non-starter as well. So many salaries obviously depend on this. Their reputation is mud.

19 11 2010

We may end up with more parkland, but will still have the unacceptable heights. I think we should be focusing on the unacceptable heights–lower heights reduces density, reduces traffic and also makes it more acceptable to use another second exit instead of the proposed cut through the park.

21 11 2010
Craig B.

Personally, I would like to see this entire project proceed as approved. I am not willing to pony up and pay for the city purchasing any part of the lands as I’m already taxed to death here in Westboro. What’s srong with eight stories anyways? I live on Lanark Avenue at Ellendale. Out my back window I have the 32 story Metropole Tower. Out my front window not 100 meters from my house I have a 20 story high rise apartment building and further down two more high rise apartment buildings. Also on Lanark just a short distance down the street I have a large school for the deaf and Health Canada. Every day at rush hour, I have speeding Quebec plated vehicles cutting down Lanark to avoid Island Park and Scott. For the most part the local traffic is minimal. Most of us walk. To be perfectly blunt, you people have no sympathy from me whatsoever. If you want to buy up some of the convent lands because you don’t like the project or the developer who, yes is in the business to make money something else you seem to object to, maybe you should pool your dollars and buy it yourself but I’m not paying for it. Failing that try accepting some positive change in the area. If it wasn’t for developers be they Minto, Ashcroft, Domicile or whatever we’d be living in tents. You want to see tall buildings and traffic visit Vancouver which is the most beautiful city in Canada and makes Ottawa look like a hick town. It will stay that way unless you accept change people.

3 02 2012

People don’t realize that with more development, comes more tax revenue, comes improved transit. So, if Westboro were to embrace all new developments and intensification, it could easily become one of Ottawa’s premier transit leaders – more bike lanes and less car lanes, more buses and better links to the Transitway (and future O-Train), etc. I’m envious of the position Westboro is in, but am disappointed at the constant NIMBYism that occurs. Intensification is happening – embrace it! Work with it – Westboro can truly become Ottawa’s gem!

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